"Globalization is not going away," James Hunglemann of the J. R. Simplot Company told a University of Idaho Agriculture Days audience during a recent worldwide marketing forum held in Moscow, ID.
"In fact, it's accelerating at a rapid pace. It is our duty to expand and open markets," Hunglemann added.
Dr. Joe Guenthner, ag economics professor, said potatoes are becoming a necessary product of trade, especially with the rise of fast-food dining in the Far East.
McDonald's opened its first fast-food restaurant in China in 1991, Guenthner said. Just seven years later they have at least 220. The need for Idaho potatoes is in great demand as fast-food restaurants multiply worldwide. He said the trend would continue into the future and that Asia and McDonalds will fuel growth in the Idaho potato industry.
Idaho Lt. Gov. C. L. (Butch) Otter and Laura Johnson, marketing manager at the Idaho State Department of Agriculture, both said it was necessary to build personal relationships and maintain friendships in overseas markets.